Jay Som
Everybody Works


4.0
excellent

Review

by JustLikeBart USER (2 Reviews)
March 10th, 2017 | 60 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Open blinds for light

The 2016 debut of Jay Som (aka Melina Duterte), Turn Into, was a pleasant if not fully realized effort. A re-release of nine tracks that Duterte drunkenly uploaded to Bandcamp, the record is fuzzy, earnest, and surprisingly assured given its humble digital beginnings. Though the album is repetitive in mood and sound (fuzzy and drenched in reverb), it serves as a promising and satisfying debut. But Turn Into was the setup. Everybody Works is the punchline.

From the opening notes of “Lipstick Stains”, it’s clear that Duterte is stretching herself toward new horizons. Turn Into’s urgency is forgotten as lightly hammered piano notes and fingerpicked guitar shimmer, eventually supported by a swell of synth and horn sounds, over which Duterte whispers an intimate paean

I like the way your lipstick stains the corners of my mouth
I pray it lasts a while

This tension between lyrical vulnerability and expansive sounds reoccurs throughout the record. In “The Bus Song”, Duterte coos “I just want you to lead me/And I just want you to need me” over an almost raucous arrangement of piano and horns, with a big fat guitar centered in the mix. “Baybee” couples utterly naked lines like “You shave at parts of me I must erase” with a groovy, sensual bassline, muted guitar, and fluid synths. The somber “Bedhead” progresses from a hypnotic drone through an optimistic, urgent guitar passage before returning to a distorted buzz as Duterte mutters “I bury my stutter”. The tension cuts, balances, tempering the album’s most ebullient moments and driving the most melancholy.

Everybody Works is a dream pop record so the requisite reverb, repetition, and sheen are present in spades. The glisten of “Lipstick Stains” and atmospheric longing of “Remains” will satisfy any Cocteau Twins fan. But a delicate and detailed understanding of melody and hooks shine through the dreaminess of Everybody Works. Some of the record’s most striking moments (the soaring chorus and joyous coda in “The Bus Song”, the resolution of the atonal guitar solo in “One Billion Dogs”, the skittering guitar line over the chorus of the title track) occur when Duterte allows simple, tasteful melodies to burst above her busy, atmospheric arrangements.

“For Light”, the closer, is Everybody Work’s crowning achievement. Over the song’s seven minutes, Duterte builds a maelstrom of upwardly straining horns, voices, and glockenspiel, all anchored by a steady guitar strum. The song begins to feel like a hymn or meditation, as multiple vocal lines, out of phase with each other, call and respond. The section ends abruptly, as though it’s been exhausted by its own expansion. We are ushered out by an echoing guitar line reminiscent of “Shedding Blue” by maudlin of the Well, weirdly enough. The last lines of the record stick in one’s head:

I’ll be right on time
Open blinds for light
Won’t forget to climb

These are promises, ones that Melina Duterte intends to keep. Given the success of Everybody Work’s balance of hooks, soundscape, and melancholy, I have no doubt that she will.


user ratings (106)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
DadEsquire (4)
One of the more sonically diverse yet cohesive projects I've heard this year....

related reviews

Turn Into

Comments:Add a Comment 
BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2017


3045 Comments


Very, very good review! (: This sounds interesting, will check.

Digging: Lil Tracy - Anarchy

wtferrothorn
March 11th 2017


5842 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ooooh i'm super hyped to listen to this, loved the singles!

SandwichBubble
March 11th 2017


10261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album's a real treat.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2017


8117 Comments


I was gonna review this u budhole
Pos tho great review
This album is crazy good

Digging: Cursive - Get Fixed

luci
March 11th 2017


11860 Comments


the bus song is so wonderful

JustLikeBart
March 11th 2017


96 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bus Song rules.

wtferrothorn
March 11th 2017


5842 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok wow lipstick stains is such a beautiful intro

literallyzach
March 11th 2017


513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think this is pretty sweet. Definitely going to grow on me I think

Gyromania
March 11th 2017


28588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is such a feel-good record. lots of fun

FullOfSounds
March 11th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would love this

Gyromania
March 11th 2017


28588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you really would

luci
March 13th 2017


11860 Comments


I kinda wish Bus Song ended after the climax, I always want to hit replay then. Last half minute doesn't add anything.

wtferrothorn
March 13th 2017


5842 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ugh, the groove on One More Time is just



theeee beeest

DadEsquire
March 14th 2017


76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is among one of the better albums I've heard this year. certainly the best proper debut album.

Pajolero
March 15th 2017


1085 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the non-singles stuff a lot more here. Except for maybe Baybee (completely unintentional), that track is brilliant.

EliteTaste
March 15th 2017


1067 Comments


Say Jom

JustLikeBart
March 15th 2017


96 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, the textures on Baybee are something else.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2017


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

About to dive into this. Damn guys you got me hyped.



Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2017


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, this is pretty good. "One more time, please" is seriously awsm.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2017


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And dat closer wow. Solid 4. Good job Miss Duarte.



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